WRC »

Loeb: I knew it was over when I had puncture

Multiple World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb had to settle for the runners-up spot on the Neste Oil Rally Finland last weekend after being outclassed by championship rival Mikko Hirvonen.

Loeb initially took the lead on the ninth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship, when he set the pace on Thursday in the short Killeri super special, which as normal opened proceedings on the 1000 Lakes.

However he dropped down to second in the first 'proper' test on Friday and while he kept right up with Hirvonen on day 1, finishing it only 3.3 seconds adrift, he was unable to do the same on Saturday.

Indeed he was powerless to stop the local star from extending the gap and trailed him in SS11, SS12, SS13 and SS14, with the margin up to 12.5 seconds heading into what would be the decisive repeat run through Himos 2.

Loeb picked up a puncture there and that saw him drop an additional 13.5 seconds and effectively ended his bid to win in Jyväskylä for the second year in a row.

After that he settled for second and eventually brought his Citroen C4 WRC car to the finish on Sunday 25.1 seconds adrift of P1.

"It had been one hell of a battle with Mikko, but when I had my puncture I knew it was over," Loeb reflected. "I would have preferred to have won, but there was little I could do about the result this weekend.

"Mikko put in a flawless run on his home event after being on the limit from start to finish. We've dropped another two points in the title chase, so it looks like it's going to be a close-run thing to the end. But we have got another eight championship points so that is still good for us."

Asked about that incident on day two in SS15, Loeb reiterated that it was the key to his downfall, although he added that even without it, it would still have been difficult to beat Hirvonen.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team and Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Elfyn Evans - DMACK Ford Fiesta WRC RS
Elfyn Evans - DMACK Ford Fiesta WRC RS
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport,
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport, 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team a
09.04.2017 - 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport, 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport, 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport, 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - 1st place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport, 2nd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
09.04.2017 - Stephane SARRAZIN (FRA) HYUNDAI I20 R5
09.04.2017 - Stephane SARRAZIN (FRA) HYUNDAI I20 R5
09.04.2017 - Stephane SARRAZIN (FRA)- Jacques Julien RENUCCI (FRA) HYUNDAI I20 R5
09.04.2017 - Stephane SARRAZIN (FRA)- Jacques Julien RENUCCI (FRA) HYUNDAI I20 R5
09.04.2017 - Yohan ROSSEL (FRA) - Benoit FULCRAND (FRA) CITROEN DS3 R5

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.